Vlog 304: Canals in Crisis?

The Canal & River Trust, the charitable organisation tasked with maintaining the navigations of England & Wales, gets a quarter of its budget from a government grant. It’s just been announced that grant is going to be cut from 2027 onwards, leaving the CRT with a huge hole in its finances, that needs to be plugged. I sat down with the boss of the CRT and asked what the practical effects of the cut will be and what they – and we – can do to stave it off.

CRT ‘Keep Canals Alive’ page: https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/donate/our-campaigns/keep-canals-alive

DEFRA budget announcement: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/canal-river-trust-grant-review/report-on-review-of-the-grant-agreement-between-defra-and-the-canal-river-trust

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  1. Sitting, or rather hiding, in Austin, Texas, in the US, I have been watching (and re-watching) your videos for years. I have never commented simply because I didn’t think it was my place to do so. The pure pleasure I have received is certainly worth far more than I have contributed. I now feel guilty.

    Watching this video made me think. Since the CRT survives as a trust and is not a “for profit” business, would it be worth approaching the Crown for some support? HRH King Charles III has openly championed many schemes for the environment, historic architecture and well being programs. Please excuse me if I have spoken out of turn, but perhaps a royal patronage could help.

    David, others have commented about how calming your series is; it is also highly entertaining and educational. Should I win the Texas state lottery and can then afford a canal trip, I feel like I will be successful because of your hard work.

    Your “cuppa” is pending, feel free to convert the monies toward a G/T, cheers.

  2. Barry Woodhouse

    How on earth is the C & R T supposed to maintain our canals and waterways with HM Government cutting back its grant! Who decides this anyway? Some bureaucrat sitting behind a nice desk who has no idea!
    But I do wonder how much income the C & R T are loosing from unlicensed craft? The number of boats I see moored up along the canals with either no license or an expired license is unbelievable. Perhaps the C & R T should start there?

  3. I found this very interesting. I am in NY. The Erie canal is paid fully by general taxes. the 59 million dollar operating expenses is 100 percent paid by General taxes. in fact the canal fees have been 100 percent waive until 2024. but they represent less than 2 million dollars when collected. I do understand that those who spend so much time on the UK canals should pay their fair share but like highways and bridges General taxes pay an enormous share of those. Airlines only pay a portion of all airport operating expenses. I would suggest a tax on boat rentals and those business on the canals.

  4. So, what would happen to the canal that has just built a bridge and is working to connect its separated watered sections into one complete historic Canal?

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